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Corona Lodge No. 2731

Consecrated 29th August 1898

Meeting at: Johannesburg - Freemasons Hall, 8 Park Lane, Parktown

Meeting Dates: 1st Wednesday (ex Jan, July, Aug) Inst Nov

Contact 082 460 6168

Lodge History

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Pity the encapsulator, faced with some 80 000 words to be reduced to about 250! But fortunately Ivor Sander's excellent history of Corona has been much quoted in this volume, and a number of the Lodge's personalities have received their due, under one heading or another. So let it be noted, as a fact in passing, that the Lodge has provided the Transvaal with two District Grand Masters (Bros Vivian and Wheal, while Bros Aburrow and Waldie Peirson were also members of Corona), one Deputy (Bro. Whiting), one Assistant (Bro Vieler, also Grand Superintendent) and six Presidents of the Board of General Purposes, while twelve of its Past Masters have attained Grand rank.

The mining industry was thriving in 1898, with South Africa on the point of becoming the largest gold producer in the world. Deeper mining techniques were needed and this brought a number of American engineers to the Rand, at least 10 of whom joined Corona. The Lodge was formed with the intention of meeting 'north of the railway', and thus closer to members' homes. 26 meetings were held in the first year, and a building fund was launched, but then came the recess due to the South African war, and Corona's own premises, in O'Reilly Road, Berea, were only ready in October 1903. The Lodge was to remain there until 1936, when it sold the premises and moved to Freemasons' Hall in Kerk Street. The proceeds of sale were invested and eventually donated to the Jubilee Memorial Appeal, helping Corona to be one of the two lodges which reached six times its quota.

Corona went on it's way through two world wars, which had their impact on membership and activity. Indeed about half the members were on active service between 1939 and 1945, including one who had a phenomenal war career, MajorGeneral Kenneth Ray.

In 1964 the Lodge sought ways and means of extending its charitable services outside the Lodge. This led four years later to the establishment of Circle Committees, chaired overall by Gordon Dekker of Corona, and these Committees were the forerunner of the Masonic Services Committee of today.

In 1967, with the support of Vernon Lodge, Corona sponsored Verona Lodge. 1971 saw the establishment of the Masonic Commission of Enquiry, chaired by John Garvey, with John Price and Douglas Vieler of Corona as members.

From 1974, Corona must be credited with playing a leading role in District fund raising, with John Garvey chairing the Centenary Appeal, for the Masonic Haven in Pretoria, and Douglas Vieler the Heritage Appeal, a very significant contribution to District finances; and Corona itself has contributed quite remarkable amounts to the District funds, largely raised through an annual 'gentlemans' boxing evening', organised by a committee of mainly 'younger' members of the Lodge.

Reference: 'A Century of Brotherhood' by A A Cooper & D E G Vieler